Yield
6
Preparation time
30 mins, plus 2 hours pickling
Hot smoked salmon pâté recipe

Susan Bell

This dish is all prepared in advance, making it an ideal dinner party starter. Every little helps when it comes to cutting down on last-minute cooking! The crunchy pickled salad is the perfect partner for the rich, creamy pâté. I like to use hot-smoked salmon or smoked trout, as they’re not too strong in flavour. However, you could quite easily switch to smoked mackerel for a more richly flavoured pâté.

Time taken 30 minutes, plus at least 2 hours pickling
Serves 6

Ingredients

For the pâté

  • 400g/14 oz hot-smoked salmon
  • grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 100g/3½ oz cream cheese
  • 100g/3½ oz Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp creamed horseradish
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 200ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 50g/1¾ oz caster sugar
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 100g/3½ oz radishes, finely sliced
  • ½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced

To serve

  • few fresh dill sprigs
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • toasted bread – rye or sourdough are particularly nice

Method

  1. To make the pickled salad, put the vinegar, caster sugar, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns into a small saucepan. Place over a medium–high heat and stir the pickling liquor until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a gentle simmer, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Put the fennel, radish and red onion in a bowl and strain the pickling liquor over the top, removing the seeds and peppercorns.
  3. Leave the vegetables to pickle in the fridge for at least 2 hours. If you want to prepare this ahead of time, you can leave it overnight.
  4. To make the pâté, remove the skin from the salmon and flake into a food processor. Add the lemon juice and briefly blitz. Add the cream cheese, yoghurt, horseradish and lemon zest and season with a little salt and a good twist of black pepper. Blitz until smooth.
  5. Divide the pâté between ramekins or similar-sized dishes and smooth over the surface of each one with a palette knife. If you’re not serving the pâté straight away, cover with clingfilm and keep it in the fridge.
  6. To serve, put the pâté dishes on to plates. Garnish with a twist of pepper, a few fronds of dill and a scattering of lemon zest. Using a slotted spoon, serve some pickled salad on the side and finish by serving with toasted rye or sourdough bread.

Tip
You can transform this into a Smoked Mushroom Pâté. Thickly slice 250g/9 oz portobello or chestnut mushrooms. Brush generously with olive oil and sprinkle or rub over 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika, and sea salt. Fry for 1–2 minutes on each side, until golden. Leave to cool, then blitz with the lemon juice and continue as above. You could switch the horseradish for Dijon mustard or even onion marmalade.